The second DAU webcast to focus on Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) featured several speakers from the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center (AFNWC), Hill Air Force Base, Utah, who discussed the Air Force’s modernization of its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) system, which comprises the land-based segment of the U.S. nuclear triad.
The panel of experts talked about the next-generation GBSD ICBM system and its vast portfolio replacing the Minuteman III ICBM that currently provides the nation’s most responsive global strategic deterrent capability. The portfolio includes the replacement of the weapon system and the task of changing 400 missiles at over 45 launch centers and 600 facilities.
Colonel Jason Bartolomei, Director, AFNWC GBSD Systems Directorate, delivered opening remarks and explained the journey of the program that will span about 25 years.
“GBSD is a full system replacement of the Minuteman III weapon system that has been on alert for more than 50 years,” he said.
Bartolomei is responsible for the development, deployment and sustainment of the new GBSD weapon system. He described the novel concept of owning the technical baseline and creating an architectural framework to share with the warfighter as the optimal approach, which aligns succinctly with system engineering.
“The collaboration between GBSD’s warfighter, intelligence and acquisition communities is the best that I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Many of the critical requirements the speakers honed in on were functional capabilities that need to be delivered within a decade.
Phil Jones, Deputy Chief, ICBM Requirements Division, Air Force Global Strike Command, reminded the participants that stable funding and requirements were critical in understanding the data.
Additional takeaways from the 90-minute discussion were:
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